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NT Opera I Jenůfa: Richard Samek (Števa), Alžběta Poláčková (Jenůfa) – photo: Zdeněk SokolNT Opera I Jenůfa: Richard Samek (Števa), Alžběta Poláčková (Jenůfa) – photo: Zdeněk Sokol


Leoš Janáček

Love, compassion, pride and cruelty in the world-renowned operatic drama set in a rural backwater.

The National Theatre
The Year of Czech music
English surtitles
German surtitles
Suitable for graduation

Choose date

    September 2024

    Wednesday 11. 9.

    Tickets available

    Special Guest
    The Year of Czech music
    English surtitles

    Monday 16. 9.

    Tickets available

    Special Guest
    The Year of Czech music

    Basic information


    The National Theatre

    Approximate running time

    2 hours 40 minutes, 2 intermission (20 minutes) minutes


    In Czech, surtitles in English, German


    September 11, 2005

    Karita Mattila
    Karita Mattila

    as Kostelnička
    September, 11 and 16

    Jenůfa is one of the most overwhelming of Janáček’s operas, acclaimed all over the world. The heroine, a village girl gradually loses everything – her beauty, her child, her honour and the man she loves. Yet she finds hope and the reason to live on.


    • 2023-2024
    • 2024-2025


    Stage director
    Jiří Nekvasil
    Sets and costumes
    Daniel Dvořák
    Movement coach
    Števo Capko
    Chorus master
    Pavel Vaněk


    National Theatre Chorus
    National Theatre Orchestra
    National Theatre Opera Ballet 

    After a very long and complicated genesis, the opera ultimately triumphed at Czech and foreign theatres. Jenůfa was the piece that gained Janáček global acclaim and renown as an opera creator. With his profound sense for earthy drama, as well as immense compassion, the composer depicts human relationships formed by the harsh milieu of a self-contained rural community, with its inhabitants’ lives being exposed to the constant gaze of others. This conservative environment affects the fate of the young Jenůfa, and above all governs the behaviour of her stepmother Kostelnička, who at any cost strives to retain her reputation as a virtuous, moral woman and the villagers’ respect. Paradoxically, she does so by secretly murdering Jenůfa’s extramarital child.

    Leoš Janáček was deeply impressed by the realist drama of the same name by the Czech author Gabriela Preissová, premiered in 1890 to a lukewarm response. The writer initially rejected the composer’s intention to set her play to music, yet five years later Janáček adapted the text into a libretto – notably, he retained the prose form, thus becoming one of the pioneers of opera not sung in verse. The composer completed the work at the beginning of 1903. Due to his personal disputes with the principal conductor, Karel Kovařovic, the National Theatre refused to perform the opera. Consequently, Jenůfa was taken up by Brno, where on 21 January 1904 it received its triumphant world premiere. The National Theatre in Prague would only give its first performance 12 years later. Subsequently, the opera was staged in Vienna (1918) and other major cultural centres. In December 1924, its American premiere was held at the Metropolitan Opera, which presented it with Max Brod’s German libretto. At the present time, Jenůfa is a staple of the repertoire of numerous opera houses worldwide.

    Photographers for production: František Ortmann a Hana Smejkalová

    Suitable for audience from 12 years.

    Photo and video gallery


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      Goods detail

      Jenůfa Programme

      A booklet for the production of Jenůfa

      80 Kč

      Only 2 items in stock

      Practical information

      Where to buy tickets

      The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. We are currently selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika taking place in July–December 2024.

      When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

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